Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Cast of 'Smilin' Jack' Layton biopic revealed

Jack Layton (L) and actor Rick Roberts

The Canadian Press/ Andrew Vaughan and Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

Now we know who will be the TV doppelgangers for late NDP Leader Jack Layton and his wife Olivia Chow. It's Rick Roberts, a veteran Canadian actor who was in the show Traders, and Sook-Yin Lee, the former MushMusic veejay and host of CBC radio show Definitely Not The Opera.

The CBC ordered up the biopic, to be called Smilin' Jack: the Jack Layton story, earlier this year. According to a press release, the made-for-TV-movie "follows the 2011 election campaign that began with Layton on crutches and down in the polls, to leading his party to its largest mandate since the party was formed. The movie also traces the love story between Layton and his wife Olivia Chow, through their years in civic politics and finally onto the national stage."

Mr. Roberts, according to his Wikipedia bio, is 45 – 16 years younger that Mr. Layton when he passed away last year – and presumably is working on his mustache.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Chief political writer

Campbell Clark has been a political writer in The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau since 2000. Before that he worked for The Montreal Gazette and the National Post. He writes about Canadian politics and foreign policy. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that our commenting partner Civil Comments is closing down. As such we will be implementing a new commenting partner in the coming weeks. As of December 20th, 2017 we will be shutting down commenting on all article pages across our site while we do the maintenance and updates. We understand that commenting is important to our audience and hope to have a technical solution in place January 2018.

Discussion loading… ✨